Causes of Aphasia


Are you familiar with the disorder aphasia?

As you can read, it is a disorder that makes it impossible to handle words well.

This is when you get old and can't remember the names of things or places.
There it is! That!"

This is quite different from the kind of language in which the words are used in the same way.

Aphasia is caused by trouble in the language center of the brain.
Let's take a look at the specific causes of aphasia.

Caused by diseases that damage the language center

Aphasia is caused by damage to the language center of the brain and other factors.
Because it is caused by brain damage, aphasia is an acquired disorder.

When does this brain damage occur?
This is when a person suffers from a disease that damages the language center.

These brain diseases include the following

  • stroke
  • cerebral hemorrhage
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Brain tumor
  • Trauma
  • encephalitis
  • etc.

Thus, any kind of impact or trouble with the brain can damage the language center and cause aphasia.

We usually speak without thinking, but in fact, we go through quite a process in order to speak.

Listen to a story

Matching sounds and letters

Match words and phrases

Understanding Meaning

Decide what to say

Sound Selection

Rearrange sounds


Listen to the story

It's a very simple process.
When any of these processes is impaired by brain disease, aphasia symptoms can occur.

The symptoms of aphasia also vary depending on which process is impaired.

What is the language center?

What is a language center anyway! Our brains have two language areas.

These two language areas are called Broca's area and Wernicke's area.

Interestingly, not all of us have language centers in the same part of the brain. 90% of right-handed people have language centers in the left side of the brain.
In contrast, about 70% of left-handed people are said to have their language centers in the left side of the brain.

You may have seen this on TV medical programs.

Both Broca's area and Wernicke's area are named after the person who found them.

Broca's area was discovered by Mr. Broca, and Wernicke's area was discovered by Mr. Wernicke.

They both have the same language area, but they were both doing research on aphasia and were looking for the same cause, and they found that there is a part of the brain that controls language.
That was the Broca's area for Mr. Broca and the Wernicke's area for Mr. Wernicke.

So they were doing similar research and happened to be in different parts of the language area.

Broca's area is the place for language.
Wernicke's area is where words are heard and understood.

Trouble in either language area can cause aphasia symptoms.

Different types of aphasia due to damage

There are two types of language areas, which are Broca's area and Wernicke's area.

There are differences in the way aphasia occurs depending on which of these areas is in trouble.

This is because the Broca's area and Wernicke's area play different roles in the functions of speaking and understanding language, respectively.

In the case of Broca's area, the patient is non-fluent and cannot recite well, while hearing is good.

In the case of Wernicke's area, it is a fluent type, has difficulty with recitation, and hearing may be poor.

These fluent and non-fluent types are divided in the front or the back of the brain.
The Broca's area is at the front of the brain and is the non-fluent type, while the Wernicke's area is at the back of the brain and is the fluent type.

If you know the function of the Broca's area and Wernicke's area, the symptoms will make sense.

The Broca's area serves the function of speech, so listening/understanding is not a problem, but speaking is not done well, so it is non-fluent.

Wernicke's area serves the function of understanding words, so even if you can hear/understand, you will not be able to understand, and your hearing will also be impaired, but you will be a fluent type.

Thus, because of the different functions it performs, there are differences in symptoms.

Aphasia caused by Broca's area and Wernicke's area is called Broca's aphasia and Wernicke's aphasia, respectively.

There are a total of seven types of aphasia, including these two.

  • Broca's aphasia
  • Wernicke's aphasia
  • Conduction Aphasia
  • Hypercortical motor aphasia
  • Subcortical motor aphasia
  • Supercortical sensory aphasia
  • Subcortical sensory aphasia

The type of this depends on where the speaking process is impaired.

The relationship between type and process is as follows

Broca's aphasia

Retains comprehension but cannot speak or recite spontaneously

Wernicke's aphasia

Unable to understand speech and recite
Can speak spontaneously, but cannot organize what he wants to say

Conduction Aphasia

Can comprehend and utter words, but cannot organize what he wants to say.

Hypercortical motor aphasia

Does not speak spontaneously but can recite

Subcortical motor aphasia

No spontaneous attempts to speak, but writing ability is retained

Hypercortical sensory aphasia

Unable to understand what is spoken
Can recite but does not know its meaning
Can speak spontaneously, but cannot coherently express what he wants to say.

Subcortical sensory aphasia

Not willing to speak spontaneously, but able to talk about what they want to talk about
Understand what can be difficult depending on where the impairment is located.


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